Fighting Fear with Love

I feel a depth of emotion about today that I haven’t experienced since that day 15 years ago. That morning I had a Stats class. Our prof didn’t think any reason was good enough to not pay attention. I cried. We all cried. I don’t think she knew. After class, I spent time in Sub (one of the university buildings), standing with an ocean of people, all numb from the news, staring at TVs, hugging each other, worrying about our families in the states.
So much happened immediately following the attack. Initially people came together, strangers embraced, lifted others up, and opened their hearts and doors. Then the war on terror started. Fear trickled into the lives of so many people. Doors closed, children no longer went out to play without a parent.
The effects of that fear are still rippling through the North American people. (Possibly in other parts of the world too?)
Our days and our lives are limited more and more with every passing year, it seems. Fear grips us, whispers to us, we’re only safe if we block others out. Keep your face down, keep your thoughts hidden, and don’t let your children out of your sight.
Anyone who looks different is singled out, targeted, shunned. Fear breeds hate. Our world cries.
So much changed that day. It’s time we stopped letting this fear shape our lives. It’s time to step out and embrace our neighbours. It’s time we invited them over for a cup of coffee and got to know them. It’s time we chatted with the random people we see while we walk. Instead of turning our backs and pretending we don’t see.
Fear has shaped our world. Fear has shaped us and is shaping our children. I’m afraid of enough things without being afraid of nameless and faceless people that likely are no where near here.
In memory of 9/11 I am spending this week introducing myself to people I meet, buying people coffee, giving people flowers, and spreading love and happiness instead of fear. I invite you to join me, in memory of 9/11 and those who lost their lives so that we might live. I invite you to live with love and intention. 

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